I got to the Certascan col, above and to the left of here, at about 6pm. From there it’s a quick and easy climb to Pic Certascan – books say 45 minutes but if you’re tired or slow you’d need an hour. I walked up the rocky hill side considering whether to do it but the sunlight had gone. Cloud covered the peaks as far as you could see so there was nothing to enjoy from a greater height. It was also getting chilly, darkness was near, and I had to find a pitch for the night. I descended from the col at a quick pace and then, just as I got to this lake, sunlight cut under the clouds and illumined the rocks. Landscape and mountain photography is often regarded as a slow and patient endeavour but when you do it as part of a long trek you often find you have just a few minutes – as here – or even just a few seconds to capture the light. For that reason, contrary to traditional ideas, a fast automatic camera is required. Extreme cold is another situation where you need this, when you can’t stand still for more than thirty seconds without getting chilled. I found a good pitch after walking another half a mile. The book said it’s a good place for a bivouac here but there was a loud stream nearby and I prefer silence if possible.


Pyrenees Hiking Photography: Certascan Lake

Sunday October 14, 2012